The Oneida County History Center has named Mary Pat Connors 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Volunteers, such as Mary Pat, are an invaluable asset to the community and essential to the daily operation and long-term care of the History Center. Mary Pat was chosen for her exceptional contributions to the History Center by her co-volunteers, History Center staff, and the Board of Trustees. This honor was announced during the annual Hall of Fame and Living Legends Awards Banquet on September 25. 2019.
Mary Pat has volunteered at the History Center for just under two years, but has already made a large impact. She started in the spring of 2018 and has had her hands in all parts of the collections from top hats and personal diaries to photographs and ballot returns. Her primary task is to prepare donations and found items for inclusion in the History Center collections. She identifies items, conducts research on each, and catalogs items relevant to Mohawk Valley history. She finds other homes for items unrelated to our local history at other museums or historical societies. Currently she is working on organizing and cataloguing the Mohawk Airlines collection, along with Digital Archivist Lauren Robinson, which contains thousands of documents, slides, and items from Mohawk, Empire, and Allegheny Airlines.
A retired school librarian, she joined the History Center to keep her mind active and stay involved with the community. She loves to research and organize, so assisting with collections management is right down her “librarian alley” so to speak. Her favorite part of the job is the interesting discoveries she makes almost daily. There’s always a new story to discover (or re-discover) within the 250,000 plus documents, artifacts, and images in the OCHC collections.
Mary Pat, mother of 4 and grandmother of 5, keeps a full schedule apart from her work at the History Center. She is the president of the Tramp and Trail Club in Utica and participates in many of their activities including hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and snowshoeing. She also manages the club’s online photo archive and is a member of their history committee. She plans to coordinate a special 100th anniversary celebration for the Tramp & Trail at the History Center in 2021. Lastly, Mary Pat loves to travel. Recent journeys include trips to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
The History Center staff, volunteers, and board of trustees would like to thank and recognize Mary Pat Connors for her dedicated service to the History Center and the community. We are grateful for enthusiastic volunteers and active community members like Mary Pat. Without them, we simply could not exist.
Student internships at the History Center are a great way to gain hands-on experience in the fields of history or museum studies. Internships are open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Most internships are unpaid; however, check with your institution about course credit or service hours.
Summer 2018 volunteer appreciation lunch at Symeon's Greek Restaurant
Library Assistant- The History Center needs volunteers to staff our research library on Fridays and Saturdays. The primary responsibility of the volunteer is to answer the phone, greet visitors, and assist visitors wishing to research. Basic computer skills or a willingness to learn preferred. Those with an interest and the capability are welcome to help with collections management. Volunteer for one day a week or all three.
Photo Assistant- The History Center is home to over 30,000 images and we need help identifying many of our photos. Join us as a photo detective and help us solve our history mysteries. Those with a knowledge of the local area are strongly encouraged to inquire! Basic computer skills preferred, but not required.
Other Opportunities- Custodial, administrative, and membership support. Contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 for more information.
Volunteers are essential to the Oneida County History Center. They staff the bookstore and research library assisting with a wide range of activities from answering phones to digitizing collections. All ages and backgrounds are encouraged to inquire. If you love history and are willing to share your time, then we'll find an opportunity to match your interests and skill set. Current opportunities are listed below.
Executive Director Brian Howard (left) and Mary Pat Connors (right)
Oneida County History Center
Mary Pat Connors- 2019 Volunteer of the Year
utica college- work study at ochc